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A Message from Peter Bonanno

Last week, River of Grace participated in the 2017 Metropolitan DC Synod Assembly at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virginia. Pastor Connie, Gretchen and I were our congregation's representatives. Please allow me to offer my perspective on the experience and how it affects all of you here at River of Grace.

First, there were about 300 folks in attendance from Virginia, Maryland, DC and other places, too many to mention. But everyone I met, without exception, was polite, kind, spiritual and very helpful (it was obvious I was a novice in this environment).

Second, the spirit of the Lord permeated the entire atmosphere. We were blessed by the inspiring presence of our presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. Bishop Richard Graham and his staff, to include our own Katharyn Wheeler, put together an agenda emphasizing the amazing work being done across the Synod to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This manifested itself in various encouraging presentations, uplifting worship, thought-provoking speakers, and exciting videos discussing all the spiritual initiatives across the Synod. And all with such incredible hospitality.

One initiative in particular is called the New Connections campaign. The mission of the New Connections initiative is to renew our congregations, establish new connections, and emphasize the diversity of our community. There is considerable content about it on the Synod web site, and I encourage all of you to review it at https://metrodcelca.org/ and at http://www.newconnectionsmetrodc.com/.

Finally, the Assembly gave us an opportunity to review the Synod's budget and administrative priorities. There was some debate, some passion, but it is clear that the Synod is in very good hands. I was very impressed with Reverend Phil Hirsch, a man with an amazing spirit and a tremendous gift of communicating his spirit and love of God, and the facilitator of the New Connections initiative.

It was also a chance to see our Pastor in a professional environment and I can assure you she was magnificent. She has very strong relationships across the synod, they were spiritually reinforced, and River of Grace was beautifully represented.

Oh, and the music was great.

I am grateful to have been a part of this great gathering, and grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve.

Feeling blessed,

Peter Bonanno

Potluck Sunday - July 3rd!

Next Sunday, July 3, is Potluck Sunday, and we'll be having an indoor picnic!

What is your favorite picnic food?

Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, brats?

How about corn on the cob, potato salad, watermelon slices, brownies or cupcakes?

Bring a favorite picnic dish to share and we'll have fun and fellowship after worship!

See you there!

Hang Out Group THIS Monday June 26

All adults wanting a fun evening of hanging out together, please plan to Hang Out!

with our Hang Out Group this Monday, June 26 at 7:00pm right here at River of Grace

The weather will (hopefully) cooperate this time so we can take advantage of our awesome new Outdoor Sanctuary space and firepit and enjoy some outdoor fellowship, activities, games, and refreshments. We'll have hotdogs and s'mores, maybe even play some volleyball or badminton!

Bring something to drink if you wish, bring a friend, and please join us! All adults are welcome!

New Worship Service Coming SOON!

We are very excited about our new Sunday evening worship service that will begin soon!

This mostly lay-led service, Rivers Edge, will be held on Sunday evenings at 6:30PM and centered around scripture, prayer and acoustic music, and sometimes held outside if weather permits. Communion will be offered the first Sunday of each month when Pastor Connie will join us. This new service will give folks who might not be able to join us on Sunday mornings, or even give anyone who wants to experience more of the grace found here, another opportunity to experience River of Grace.

We're so excited to begin! Stay tuned - more details to come!


SERVE Ministry Needs Plastic Grocery bags!

Our NEW SERVICE PROJECT is underway!

We are making blankets for the homeless out of plastic grocery bags!

Recyclable, washable, water-repellent and warm, this is a wonderful way to help the homeless and reuse all those extra plastic grocery bags we all collect!

It's easy, fun, and rewarding! Here's all we need:

- lots of plastic grocery bags

- volunteers to stay after church to learn how to make them!

This is an ongoing project, and no experience is necessary! We'll resume the after-church creating sessions on June 25 but we'll be collecting bags all summer long!

Also, please mark your calendars to join the SERVE Ministry on Sunday, July 16 at 5:00pm when we'll be preparing and serving a meal to families in need at the shelter. Sign up coming soon.

And, we will be teaming up with the Red Cross for a BLOOD DRIVE on August 1st - more on that to come!

We also take ongoing donations of non-perishable food items for those in need. Please drop them off in the collection container downstairs.

If you'd like to be a part of the planning of this very fulfilling ministry, please see Kathy Panther.

Women's Bible Study NEW DAY!

Please note our new day:

We meet the first THURSDAY of each month, at 7:00pm, here at the church.

We are continuing our study of Esther.

We are a group of women seeking to grow in our relationship with God and our relationships with one another, and we would love for you to join us!


Our Community Service Ministry is requesting donations of non-perishable food items. The shelves at the SERVE pantry are getting bare so we'd like to be able to provide ample food supplies for those in need. Please drop off any non-perishable food items in the collection container downstairs.

We are also planning a meal that we will prepare and serve to families in need at the shelter.

If you'd like to be a part of the planning of this very fulfilling ministry, please see Kathy Panther.

Did you know River of Grace is a Pokestop?

C'mon in and resupply here! You'll never know what you'll find at church :)

BoxTops and Labels for Education

Just a reminder that we are still collecting BoxTops and Labels for Education to help support the Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia.

Rescuing Kids. Raising Leaders. Reaching Nations.

The Mountain Mission School is a refuge, resource and relief for children in need. Each year MMS provides more than 200 at-risk youth a home, church and school. Children ages pre-K through grade 12 receive the foundation of first-rate academics, a loving family environment, positive social support, and a firm commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Since 1921, more than 20,000 children from not only the United States, but also from more than 60 countries worldwide have been nurtured through the school. More than 95% of MMS graduates go on to college, and MMS alumni become strong leaders and inspirations to their communities.

Help us help them by collecting your

BoxTops and Labels from countless products that you use every day. They add up, and MMS will use the donated funds from these boxtops and labels to help equip their school. Look for the specially marked donation boxes downstairs.

Thank you, and start clipping!


SERVICE Team will be at SERVE the last Wednesday of each month. Please join us between 5:30 and 7:30. You can come late or stay as long as you can.

Everyone is welcome!

Bring yourselves! Bring your spouse! Bring your friends!

Let's keep this much-needed ministry going

and show others there is a God, and he's out there loving each of us.

We meet at the SERVE Food Pantry,

10056 Dean Drive, Manassas

You'll truly make a difference and you'll be so glad you did!

Loving God and Loving Others can actually be fun!

And thank you so much for your continued generosity in dropping food off in the blue SERVE bucket in the narthex. Especially now that the holidays are over, their food needs cannot be forgotten. They are most in need of canned vegetables, canned meats and tuna, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese and all sorts of non-perishables.

Thank you for being part of our mission to

Love God + Love Others!

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